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June 30, 2009

PSC Presses Agenda Despite Albany Chaos
The stalemate in Albany has brought all legislative action to a standstill. The NYS Assembly adjourned after passing many bills which now await Senate action. However, the Assembly did not pass a Tier 5 pension bill proposed by the governor.  The governor’s bill would have placed future PSC members in an inferior pension tier.

Working with NYSUT, the PSC continues to press our representatives in Albany hard to oppose the inclusion of future CUNY faculty and staff in a new Tier 5. A resolution passed unanimously in our Delegate Assembly voices strong opposition to the concession.  The PSC was not a party to the agreement made last week by the United Federation of Teachers for an inferior pension tier for future employees. 

New Presidents at Medgar Evers and Brooklyn College
The CUNY Board of Trustees, at their meeting last week, named new presidents to two CUNY colleges.

William L. Pollard, the new president of Medgar Evers College, was president of the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC and, most recently, vice president for the Office of Access and the Advancement of Public Black Colleges and Universities for the National Association for State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.
 
Karen J. Gould, the new president of Brooklyn College, was provost at California State University at Long Beach. Dr. Gould is the first woman to preside at BC and is a scholar of French-Canadian literature.

Affordable Housing Survey—Fill It Out!
The PSC and TIAA-CREF are discussing developing affordable housing options for PSC members.  More than a thousand members have  participated in the union’s preliminary survey, designed to assess the demand for affordable housing in the metropolitan area among the faculty and professional staff. Don’t be left out; fill the survey out today. The deadline is next Thursday, 7/9.

Oregon First State to Pass FACE Principles into Law
Late Saturday night, the Oregon Senate voted unanimously to put the principles of the FACE campaign into Oregon law. The Senate's 30-0 vote follows last week's vote in the House on HB 2557, the Oregon Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) Act. The bill is now scheduled to be signed by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski. This will represent the first time that components of AFT's Faculty and College Excellence Act are officially included in state statute. PSC President Barbara Bowen, an AFT vice president, has been a driving force of the national FACE project.

"This is a great step for contingent faculty and for Oregon's higher education system," said David Rives, AFT-Oregon President-elect and part-time community college instructor who has taught English as a Second Language for the past 15 years. "I'm thrilled that we're finally getting public awareness about the faculty staffing crisis."
The FACE campaign presses for more full-time faculty and pro-rata pay and benefits for contingent or adjunct faculty. More on the AFT’s FACE website.

PSC Screening Candidates for City Races in the Fall

This November, candidates will be elected to mayor, public advocate, and all 51 City Council positions. The PSC is reviewing questionnaires and participating in Central Labor Council candidate interviews to identify those candidates who will fight hard for the PSC’s priorities. After this process is completed, the PSC will announce endorsements for the primaries in September and for the general election in November.  

PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Director Honored
The Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations (COMRO) honored Larry Morgan, executive director of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund, last week at their annual luncheon. COMRO recognized Morgan recognized for a career of outstanding contributions to the health benefits of retirees. Morgan held positions with DC37, District 65 UAW, 1199 SEIU and UNITE before coming to the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund in August of 2004. He spoke about issues facing retirees in the public sector and growing national concerns about providing adequate health care for all.